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Social values, ethics

Science Spotlights

A drawing showing people making homes more ignition resistant, reducing fuels, and learning about risks.
In the context of wildfire risk mitigation on private property, we used household survey data on both people’s willingness to take risks across a wide range of activities (for example, driving and financial investments) and how they would rate their property on several measures of wildfire risk (for example, amount of defensible space). We paired these responses with assessments of the same parcels conducted by a wildfire professional, then...
A landscape view of prairie under a stormy sky.
RMRS and partners convened over 200 Great Plains managers, scientists, and stakeholders to identify stressors and resource demands throughout Great Plains grasslands and how to manage them, highlight knowledge gaps and opportunities for co-produced research, and discuss methods for improved collaboration.
A tent with a pinata hanging outside.
The Latinx population is the largest minority population in the United States and is estimated to comprise 28% of the U.S. population by 2050. While research on Latinx outdoor recreation in urban areas and city parks has increased over the past twenty years, research on federal and state public lands such as National Forests and Parks has waned. The results from this study show a shift in Latinx use of federal and state public lands. 
 Northeastern California Plateaus Bioregion Science Synthesis Document Cover
The new publication, Northeastern California plateaus bioregion science synthesis (Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-409), has a northeastern California focus on sagebrush rangeland, dry pine forestland, juniper forests, habitat and wildlife, society, and response to disturbances, particularly those related to climate.
The Aldo & Leonardo logo
The Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute and Colorado Art Ranch collaborated to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act by hosting artist residencies in six wilderness areas. The result is this body of work that creatively illustrates the value of wild areas and honors the scientific efforts to preserve wilderness for the next fifty years.
Participants sit at tables in a meeting hall, completing fun, interactive exercise
A recently released ‘social vulnerability’ protocol provides a detailed manual for applying social science to support forest and river planning efforts (e.g., forest plan revision). Specifically, the protocol is designed to engage the public about the importance of (and tradeoffs among) ecosystem services, as well as those drivers of change influential to such benefits.
Historical and projected energy consumption for the United States according to energy source (EIA 2018).
Major United States energy sources - fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas), biofuels (ethanol), and wind - are concentrated in grassland ecosystems of the Great Plains. We aim to provide syntheses of potential ecological effects of energy development and production on grassland systems and identify opportunities to mitigate these effects during the planning, construction, and production phases by using informed methodology and improved...
Photo of a fen with floating mat on the water. The mat has Carex limosa and Sphagnum mosses
Mountain fens (peat-accumulating wetlands) are groundwater-dependent habitats (i.e. groundwater dependent ecosystems) protected under the Clean Water Act and other federal mandates in the United States. There is increasing interest in documenting and monitoring the occurrence and characteristics of fens. In addition to supporting unusual plants, fens are sites of carbon and water storage and long-term ecological stability, since the underlying...
Research to love graphic
A new paper in the journal Climatic Change highlights human incentives for positive change in uncertain situations. The research shows that humans will take collective action to address a common problem if the problem, the amount of action needed to address the problem, and the potential consequences of not solving the problem are framed appropriately.
Mountain big sagebrush and mountain brush community in the Toiyabe Range, central Nevada. Photo by Jeanne Chambers
The Science Framework for Conservation and Restoration of the Sagebrush Biome (Science Framework) provides a strategic, multiscale approach for prioritizing areas for management and determining effective management strategies across the sagebrush biome.